Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Edible Wild Plants/Wintergreen

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Wintergreen, or Teaberry


Description: Wintergreen (also called Teaberry) is a low evergreen plant that grows in wooded areas. It produces red berries in the Fall, and they remain on the plant through the winter until the plant flowers again in the spring. The crushed leaves have a medicinal smell very much like peppermint (or surprise! wintergreen!) It is also used as the flavor of Wrigley's popular Winterfresh chewing gum.

Where found: Primarily found in the Northeastern United States, but it also grows in Minnesota, south to Mississippi, east to Georgia, and north to Maine.

Availability: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Use: The leaves can be picked and chewed raw like a chewing gum. The leaves can also be finely chopped and steeped in boiling water to make a tea. The berries can be eaten as well.

WARNING: Wintergreen is endangered in Illinois, so if you find it there, leave it be!
Gaultheria procumbens.JPG